Tesla delivers first electric Semi truck – delayed by three years

Five years after they first appeared, the first Tesla Semi trucks were delivered to customers Thursday at an event at the company’s Gigafactory in Sparks, Nevada.

First introduced as a concept in 2017, the trucks were supposed to go into production in 2019 but were delayed for various reasons, including the COVID-19 pandemic and global parts shortages. Representatives of PepsiCo, which reserved 100 Semis shortly after the announcement, were present to receive the first batch of trucks.

Tesla says the Semi is powered by four independent motors on the rear axles, can accelerate from 0-100 km/h in 20 seconds and has a battery range of up to 500 miles. Prices can start at $150,000, and low-end orders have come in from businesses like Walmart and FedEx.

Standing on a stage with four Tesla Semis, two of them with Pepsi and Frito Lay logos, Musk spoke of the need to reduce the amount of carbon emissions from shipping goods across the planet. But after showing a nominal commitment to his mission to combat climate change, he quickly turned to his distinctive brand of showmanship.

“He looks sick,” Tesla CEO Elon Musk said on stage at the event. “You want to ride it. I mean, that thing looks like it’s from the future. Musk later referred to Semi as a “monster.”

Musk ticked off a number of features he said would make the Semi the most efficient, desirable and drivable truck on the road. The truck will feature a new 1,000-volt drivetrain architecture, which Musk says will account for future product development at Tesla. The Semi features traction control to prevent slamming, regenerative braking for higher battery efficiency, and automatic clutch for smooth highway driving.

“This is a step change in technology in many ways,” Musk said.

weekend, Musk appeared That one of Tesla’s battery powered class 8 semi trucks completed a 500-mile journey fully loaded with 81,000 pounds of cargo. The trip took place from Tesla’s factory in Fremont, California, to San Diego at the southern tip of the state. At the event, Musk explained that the journey is carried out without the need to recharge the battery.

Tesla is positioning the Semi as the future of trucking. But as the company struggles to start production, the rest of the trucking industry has already embraced electric vehicles. Major equipment manufacturers such as Daimler, Volvo, Peterbilt and BYD are working on their own electric long tractors. Tesla Semis, delivered today, was the final piece of a $30.8 million project partially funded by the California Air Resources Board. Bloomberg. Fighting fraud allegations and executive circulation, even Nikola Motors delivered a hydrogen-powered truck before Tesla.

Still, battery-powered EVs will face serious challenges, from weight restrictions to the availability of suitable charging stations, before they are widely adopted. Truck stops, for example, are largely unprepared to meet the power needs of electric tractor trailers and their massive batteries.

Two years ago, Bill Gates said that “despite major breakthroughs in battery technology”, electric vehicles were not ready to take on long-distance trucking. “Electricity works when you have to travel short distances, but for heavy, long-haul vehicles we need a different solution,” Gates wrote. (Musk’s response to Gates was: send rough memes on twitter of course.)

Slide showing a graph of the charging capacity of Tesla's V4 charging cable, which reaches 35 amps per square millimeter, and how the conductors are dipped into the heatsink tubes.

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Touching on the topic of charging during the event, Musk announced that Tesla has developed a new liquid-cooled charging connector that can provide 1 megawatt of direct current power. “It will also be used for Cybertruck,” Musk added to the applause of the audience. (Similarly, the much-delayed Cybertruck is expected to go into production in the second half of 2023.) He also mentioned that Tesla’s Superchargers will need to be disconnected from the grid to ensure they can continue to provide power during an outage.

Trucks are a key component of Musk’s “Master Plan Part Deux,” in which he pledges to expand the company’s vehicle range to “cover major forms of ground transportation”, including a semi-truck.

During the event, Musk talked about Tesla’s current product line, which has been criticized for being stale compared to other automakers that often release remastered versions of older models. Standing in front of an image of Tesla’s lineup of vehicles, including the upcoming Cybertruck and a veiled vehicle labeled “robotaxi,” Musk said Tesla was unlike any other car company.

“So what is our main mission? “Our main task is to accelerate the emergence of sustainable energy,” Musk said. “That’s why we’re making this broad range of cars that doesn’t make much sense for the brand.”

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